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Shine Your Light

Usually we see the word “encouragement” as being positive in our approach to others. We are expressing praise and gratitude for their efforts. This is good and needful. However, we also need to be corrected when we stray from the “straight and narrow” path of righteousness.
When Paul wrote to remind Timothy of his pastoral duties, he urged him to “correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). Balanced teaching will include rebuke as well as encouragement. If all we eat is dessert, our health will eventually suffer for it.

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Faith Like a Child

In Matthew 18:1-4 the disciples of Jesus asked him, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child into their midst and said, “Unless you humble yourself like this little child, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Little children put their total trust in those who care for them. They have an innate sense of dependence on grownups. We need to develop the same attitude toward God.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him, and he will direct your paths.”

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Victory and Hope

       If there is anything this world needs more of now, it is hope. That is why we need Easter more than ever. The older I get, the more I realize that it is easy for me to become cynical about life. A cynic tends to doubt the sincerity and good intentions of others. He or she becomes distrustful of human nature and pessimistic about the future.

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I Can Change, If I Want To

Comedian Red Green often closed his TV show with his so-called “Man Prayer:” “I’m a man; I can change; if I want to; I guess.” He did this for a laugh, but have you noticed how often good humor mirrors real life? This half-hearted commitment to make necessary changes unmasks our own hypocrisy. When we confess our sins to God, knowing that it is just a matter of time before we repeat the same offense, this sows seeds of apostasy.

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Waste

Matthew 26:1-13. Matthew says it was two days before Passover. We know, however that Passover is on Thursday and celebrated as Maundy Thursday. A lesson on how the Jewish calendar and clock works. Our Wednesday begins at 12:00 midnight a.m. and will end at 11:59p.m. In Jewish timekeeping in Bible times, the next day began at sundown. So at sundown on Tuesday, that began the Jewish Wednesday. So, it could be that Matthew’s reference has some credibility to it that the Passover would be in two days. John, writes in his gospel that this event occurred six days before the Passover. Whenever it actually occurred, let’s not miss the point here.

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It’s Never Too Late!

The Word of God tells us that Jesus is slow in coming again because He wants all men to be saved. Jesus told a parable of workers hired at the beginning of the day to work in the farmer’s field for a sum of money. He came back at midday and again in the afternoon and an hour before quitting time and hired more workers each time for a sum of money. When it came time to pay each worker, each worker received the same sum of money. Workers were paid for the work agreed upon and not for an hourly wage. So whether one worked all day, half day or an hour, they all got the same pay.

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Be Intentional

This is the challenge to you, Church. Will you take the challenge? Who among your friends, neighbors, or family don’t know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Pray for the Holy Spirit to put you in the path of someone and give you the courage to speak for Jesus to them, “Come follow me.” Tell them about the wonderful hope they can have for salvation and heaven because of the third day. Show them how they should obey Christ example of dying for sin, being buried and raised to new life on the third day. When they ask “How? Ask them to die to their sin with repentance of sin and confession that Jesus is the Christ. Lead them to understand that baptism is their burial of their sin and that the water is symbolic of washing away their sin. And when they are raised out of the water, this is their third day! This is their resurrection to new life in Christ. In this season of spring and resurrection of new life on the earth, be intentional with those you know to be resurrected to new life.


Jealousy

As servants of God, Christians should not be in competition with each other. We are on the same team. We ought to work in concert to fulfill Christ’s commission to take the whole gospel to the whole world before
he returns.
 
However, because we have a sin nature, jealousy sometimes rears its ugly head. We may even covet another believer’s gifts or influence in the church. But God does not want us to compare ourselves to others. He has given each of us exactly what He wants us to have in order to do what He has called us to do.

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Battle for the Mind

            Oswald Sanders writes: “The mind of man is the battleground on which every moral and spiritual battle is fought.” And Vance Havner says about this battle, “Our defeat or victory begins with what we think, and if we guard our thoughts we shall not have much trouble anywhere else along the line.” We are fighting an invisible battle, and the battlefield is in our minds. Our mind is where the seed of sin sprouts. As Leslie Flynn writes, “Every kidnapping was once a thought. Every extramarital affair was first a fantasy.

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A Living Sacrifice

   How far would you go to snatch a soul from the fires of hell? What would you give up in order to help someone find their way back to Jesus?

    In Romans 12:1 Paul encourages us to sacrifice our very lives for the cause of Christ. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…”


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